Track 2 : Who needs Social Innovation in the future?

Curating: Alessandra Manganelli (KULeuven /Free University Brussels)
Madrinas/Padrinos: Diana MacCallum (Curtin University) & Stijn Oosterlynck (University of Antwerp)

  • Session 2.1. Socializing regional innovation

    Examining the role of local authorities and civil society actors in stirring transformative social innovation


    Chair: Kevin Morgan (University of Cardiff)

    Contributors: Sofia Pagliarin (Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL), Alessandra Manganelli (KULeuven/VUB), Abid Mehmood (Cardiff University)

  • Session Details

    The concept of social innovation has been immeasurably enriched through the work of Frank Moulaert and his associates and this proposal will draw on his work to criticise the literature on regional innovation systems on 2 grounds: (i) that it is too technocratic in scope and nature and (ii) that at best it neglects and at worst ignores the inherently political nature of conventional innovation narratives. To overcome these shortcomings, innovation needs to be radically re-imagined in more capacious terms to reflect the societal challenges that face every society, a shift that will democratise the innovation process by allowing us to recognise the role of civil society actors and municipalities as societal agents of change and transformation.

  • Call for Papers

    Send your proposal for a contribution to, hermes2017@RISEUP.NET
    Please mention “Contribution Hermes 2017” as a subject of your mail.

  • Session 2.2. Transformative social innovation


    Chair: Andreas Novy (University Vienna) & Mikael Stigendal (Malmö Högskola / Malmö University)

    Contributors : Konrad Miciukiewicz (UCL), Chris Kesteloot (KULeuven), Stijn Oosterlynck (University of Antwerp)

  • Session Details

    Over the last years, a shift in the content and definition of social innovation has been taken place. The elder tradition, in line with Frank Moulaert and many others, is based

    on a socioeconomic approach, embedding the economy in society. In the aftermath of the cultural revolution of 1968, bottom-up development, self-reliance and an ecological critique questioned the basic social structures of capitalist market economies. We call the respective social innovations transformative, others call it radical (Johal et al.) or maximalist (Unger). This tradition differs from the new tradition which has been promoted by different high-level institutions, like President Barroso´s European Commission or the Obama administration. It is based on a flat ontology that looks for initiatives “that work” and apply, based on empirical evidence, optimizing principles to non-economic domains. It aims at innovations that reduce costs in social service delivery by introducing market principles and fostering entrepreneurship and the social economy. At its best, it fosters incremental innovation and pragmatic improvement of service delivery and social infrastructure. In general, it is compatible with deepening neoliberalisation.

    The workshop aims at sharpening the concept of transformative social innovation without denying the importance on incremental social innovations.

  • Call for Papers

    We invite contributions that focus on

    • Strategies and case studies which link incremental, small scale, place-based change with the transformation of basic social forms of capitalist market
       economies (consumerism and productivism; wage labour, bureaucracy, …)

    • Reflections on the ontological, epistemological and methodological foundations of transformative social innovation in times of transition and increasing
       complexity (esp. a potential-oriented, open and deep ontology; context-sensitive ontologies which do not fall in the relativist trap; power-sensitive
       ontologies which acknowledge multiple perspectives …)

    Send your proposal for a contribution to,, hermes2017@RISEUP.NET
    Please mention “Contribution Hermes 2017” as a subject of your mail.

  • Session 2.3. Transformative Social Innovation - Part 2 & Cross-Learnings/General Discussions Sessions 2.1. & 2.2.

    Participants from Sessions 2.1. and 2.2. - Open discussions